Home Cooking

help me make great steak


More from Home Cooking

Home Cooking

help me make great steak

A Fish Called Wanda | | Aug 21, 2006 07:41 PM

Ok, hounds -- you've introduced me to kurobuta pork. You taught me everything I ever wanted to know about a rack of lamb. Now, can you do it again with steak? Please?

Here is a recent incident that made me realize that I need help:

I splurged for the prime, aged sirloin at $30/Lb and was disappointed. Cooked it to medium-rare, but it was not particularly tender or flavorful. It was good, but not great. And for $30/Lb, I want great. Everyone swoons over sirloin (NY stip), but I thought rib-eye is both more tender and beefy. Is it just me? Did I do something wrong with that ultra expensive piece of meat? I just salted, peppered and grilled on high just until it browned and then turned down the heat until it reached 115F. It went up another 10 degrees while resting.

First questions about buying it:

1) Grass fed vs. grain fed -- I heard that grass fed is more flavorful, but tougher than grain fed. Is that true? If I am buying cuts that are generally more flavorful than tender (skirt and hanger) will they will too tough if grass fed?

2) Prime vs. choice -- is it worth the extra bucks for any cut or only some cuts?

3) Aged vs. not aged -- does this even exist for cheaper cuts like skirt and hanger?

4) What are your favorite cuts for steak? In restaurants, I really enjoy rib-eye, hanger, and skirt. Any good cuts I am missing?

Now the prep:

1) would you trim the fat around the steak? What about that large piece of fat that runs through the middle of rib-eye?

2) marinading -- what exactly does it do? does it help with tenderness or is it all about flavor?

3) when do you salt -- before or after cooking? would you add salt to the marinade?

And finally cooking:

1) high heat vs low heat -- I hear that high heat makes the meat tougher. Is that an issue? How do you deal with that? Do you finish in the oven? If you don't use high heat, how do you get the steak to brown?

2) What temperature do you cook your steak to? I like my meats to be medium-rare, which as far as I could tell by experimenting means taking off heat at 115F and serving at 125F. Do some cuts need to be cooked more or less than others?

3) Resting -- how long do you rest a steak? Do you cover it with foil during resting?

Any other words of steak wisdom?


More posts from A Fish Called Wanda